Thursday, February 5, 2009

Clarifications, Updates and More Information

Before I get back into my series about ground work I thought I'd do do a little clarifying and a bit of catching up. The clarifying comes as a result of bloggers new quirk of posting a series of pictures in the reverse order from how they were loaded.

What that means is the sequence of pictures in yesterday's Wordless Wednesday are actually in reverse. The first picture shows Richard getting OFF of the horse. For those who noticed how carefully he was doing this, it was not about the horse but the condition of the rider.

These pictures were taken of Richard's FIRST TIME back on a horse since he broke the four transverse processors in his back. As I saw him climb onto the horse (every bit as gingerly as he got off, I might add) I ran and got my camera so I would have evidence.

I am sworn to secrecy about when this actually happened............. I will say, however, that the ride only last a few (less than 5) minutes. Also, the horse had already been ridden by Jessica so Richard just cooled her out.

Richard is not the only one on a horse before anyone thought possible. I started off just riding Legs for about ten minutes. I have worked that up to a normal schooling session with him AND have added others. I am currently up to riding 4 of the 8 of my horses that are being ridden. So far I haven't done that 2 days in a row. Instead I dropped back to 2 but only because I had an appointment. Next week we'll both be back at it.

Then there is Life...........An Arabian Filly Injured.......Again! Echo's leg is healing as expected.

While the wound does not look pretty by any means, it looks way better than the one that I had stitched up by the vet. Thank goodness, she is leaving it alone. I definitely think I made the right call.

On the subject of News Flash from AHA Prompts My Investigation into CEM Lady of Chaos emailed me new numbers and a link. Nationwide, the CEM investigation now involves at least 512 horses in 45 states, according to the USDA. The outbreak began in mid-December, when a Quarter Horse stallion on a Kentucky farm tested positive during routine testing for international semen shipment.
So, 512 horses from one outbreak. This stuff just spreads like crazy fast.

To understand these numbers it's important to understand the process the FDA is employing in investigating this disease. It all starts with the discovery of an infected horse. From there they will track each breeding horse that has come into contact with this horse.

As they discover new possibly infected horses, the numbers will continue to increase rapidly. Any possible contacts to each new horse (including breeding facilities where contact could possibly be made by way of contaminated equipment) will also be investigated to be sure that the infection has not spread.

While these numbers are going up rapidly now, some of these horses are those infected in previous years that have gone unnoticed until the connection was discovered recently. That's one of the things that makes this so dangerous. An infected horse can stay out there undetected for years spreading the disease. In a breeding facility that horse can infect a number of horses before the disease is even suspected.

The horse considered to be the original carrier, the Friesian, the FDA believes was imported with the disease in 2004. Yet he wasn't tested nor put on the list of carriers until now. In the meantime, the disease spread to who knows how many horses. They won't even know that until all of the contacts are established and ruled either carriers or not.

The Friesian wasn't even suspected until the connection was made to the appy stallion who had by then infected 3 more stallions at the one facility in Kentucky and a number of mares alone. From there, the Appy moved to another facility. I don't know if that covers all of the places the Appy has been or not, but you can bet that will be part of the investigation.

The point is as these numbers are rising rapidly now, the list of horses infected have been infected over a span of time, not just in this year. The FDA actually traced backwards from Kentucky to find the original source. How many offshoots from there are still a mystery.

And to answer BrownEyed Cowgirls questions on this subject.

Q: Is this curable?
A: Yes, but it is not an "easy" cure. It take some time and is a hands on procedure.

Q: Or once a horse becomes infected they are always a carrier and can pass this on?
A: No, however, once a horse is cured and then gets it again, detecting it can be more difficult. Mares who get it a second time, tend to carry infected foals to term (thus producing carriers) easier than first time infected mares.

Q: Can it be transmitted through casual contact or does it have to be breeding contact?
A: The contact must be infected fluids to genitalia. While a person or instrument could infect a horse by carrying the contaminated fluid, it would have to be deposited on the soft tissue of sexual organs.

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  1. Thanks MiKael!

    There are pros and cons to living in the sticks.;) I don't have to worry about a lot of these types of things, but then, I don't always hear about them either.

  2. Ouch I do know that pain he had. How long ago did he break them? I got back on a horse less than 2 months after breaking mine. It has been 7 years and I still have pain at times. I ride a racker so she has a very smooth gait, great for painful backs.